“Let us begin Lent, the Fast, with joy”
For the typical Orthodox, finding out what to eat or feed your family over the next forty days can be been difficult. I mean, most people are switching from bacon to quinoa. But it doesn’t have to be expensive or bland or lacking nutrients.
As someone that’s plant based but not vegan, here are some of my favorite tips that I hope will help you and your family get adjusted.
Firstly, learn the lingo which can be confusing just going by the hashtags alone:
Vegan – avoids all animal products including honey and some obscure ones like bone char which is found in granulated sugar.
Plant based- Avoids most flesh products for the most part, but is flexible
Soy Free Vegan – Avoids gmo soy which is linked to altering male and female hormone levels as well as animal products. This does not include products made with soy lecithin.
Soy Free whole foods Vegan – Avoids soy, flesh meats and products and processed vegan products. These people support foods that they grow or are grown instead of the manufactured stuff.
Here’s how to get adjusted:
- Buy or borrow a decent vegan cookbook like Isa Moskowitz’s Veganomicon which highlights pantry necessities, kitchen equipment and every type of recipe. There are still many of them I haven’t tried and I had this one for a few years.
- There are tons of sole vegan blogs. Minimalist Baker is queen for quick vegan recipes and scrumptious desserts for coffee hours and potlucks during Lent.
- The vegan meat substitutes may be more expensive but serve as a gradual transition to whole grain and vegetable dishes.
- Gardein brand meals at most major supermarkets are no fail for quick, easy dinners that require minimal chopping, minimal time and not so fancy (read: expensive) equipment
- Get reacquainted with your produce aisle. Daikon? Squash? Be open to the idea of different ways of cooking and there’s so many health benefits too.
- Make cooking fun! Use different textures, discuss the health benefits or have themed meals. Vegan sticky buns for coffee hour or an intimate women’s tea night? Look up Minimalist Baker’s recipe. It’s a total win!
- As you’ll be relying on more produce, here’s a chance to get to know some of your local farmers. They want to engage with you. It’s a quite a joy for me to visit the farmers market year round at least weekly.
- Try to avoid the vegan documentaries on Netflix. I only found about one or two informative, but not in an actual learning how to adjust way, but in a propaganda way.
- If you’re on Instagram, share your awesome recipes under a unique and easy to find hashtag for others.
- Speaking of cookbooks and you’re cooking for a large family, Melissa Naasko has you covered! Check out her very own, Fasting as a Family.
- Explore spices. They add great flavor to recipes and they’re healthy!
- A great time to reflect on our mentality and state of mind: Try to be positive and see everything with a perspective of renewal. We attend the services to work on our mind and soul. What can we do to nourish our bodies?
- I also try to share a few recipes a week or check out the archive!
How have you become adjusted? Share your tips below!